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Old 09-29-2014, 10:05 AM   #1
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2006 23' Safari SE
Oak Harbor , Washington
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New axles and shock Brackets

I just got off the phone with Alyssa at Dexter Axle. She informs me that if I replace my old 23D axles with new 6-5.5 lug pattern, and with 32 degree down arms, that it is not possible for Dexter to supply the axles with a top shock bracket. When I asked "then how do the shocks get mounted?" She merely stated that she had no idea. Bye the way, the rating of the axle does not play in this equation. She quoted 3,500# rated axles, which is what I want. She said that a lower rating would not affect their inability to supply with shock brackets.

I want to go to the 32 degree down arm and LT235/75 R16 Michelin tires to gain "dirt road clearance." This forum gave me tons of info on how to do it, but all of a sudden I am dead in the water. I sure don't want to order axles, 16" Sendel wheels and Michelin tires and then find out that they won't work!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Bill on Whidbey Island
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:44 AM   #2
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Axles

HEY Bill, I did the set up you are talking about, 32 degrees, 3400lbs, 16 "wheels michelins LTX 235/75r16 it rides so smooth, I gained about 3 1/2" which I needed. I got my axles from Colin Hyde, shocks from Inland RV, took about 3 to 4 hours it was 95 degrees when i did it, they bolted right on. I made a bolt for the shock, instead of welding a stud on, it was easier just as effective, I know Andy would disagree. You can call me if you have questions I did it last month. Dwayne 573 881 8922


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Originally Posted by theOrca View Post
I just got off the phone with Alyssa at Dexter Axle. She informs me that if I replace my old 23D axles with new 6-5.5 lug pattern, and with 32 degree down arms, that it is not possible for Dexter to supply the axles with a top shock bracket. When I asked "then how do the shocks get mounted?" She merely stated that she had no idea. Bye the way, the rating of the axle does not play in this equation. She quoted 3,500# rated axles, which is what I want. She said that a lower rating would not affect their inability to supply with shock brackets.

I want to go to the 32 degree down arm and LT235/75 R16 Michelin tires to gain "dirt road clearance." This forum gave me tons of info on how to do it, but all of a sudden I am dead in the water. I sure don't want to order axles, 16" Sendel wheels and Michelin tires and then find out that they won't work!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Bill on Whidbey Island
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:37 PM   #3
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New axles, shocks and Centromatics are now on order from Andy. My local Les Schaub store has agreed to do the install.

Life is better when retailers simplify things for you!

Bill
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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I would reconsider Les Schwab for install.

You will have untrained children trying to learn how to install axles on your Baby....

Find a good airstream dealer or trailer shop.

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Old 10-07-2014, 07:00 PM   #5
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My nephew and I installed the axles I bought from Andy. It wasn't hard at all.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:21 PM   #6
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Just had 3 axles replaced on my 34'. I had a very good trailer repair shop do the job. They have replaced axles on Airstreams before. Find a shop that does this type of repair, on a regular basis, or you could be fixing a mess at your cost. Going cheap usually costs you $$$$$$$.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redder View Post
HEY Bill, I did the set up you are talking about, 32 degrees, 3400lbs, 16 "wheels michelins LTX 235/75r16 it rides so smooth, I gained about 3 1/2" which I needed. I got my axles from Colin Hyde, shocks from Inland RV, took about 3 to 4 hours it was 95 degrees when i did it, they bolted right on. I made a bolt for the shock, instead of welding a stud on, it was easier just as effective, I know Andy would disagree. You can call me if you have questions I did it last month. Dwayne 573 881 8922

I'd be curious in hearing more about your bolt on shocks. Pics? Sounds like it was relatively easy. Just trying to understand why other threads sound as though the shock brackets must be welded on....


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Old 10-07-2014, 10:40 PM   #8
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I'd be curious in hearing more about your bolt on shocks. Pics? Sounds like it was relatively easy. Just trying to understand why other threads sound as though the shock brackets must be welded on....


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Sometimes yes, sometimes no, with Dexter.

That's not hard to do.

But another brand comes without shock studs.

Maybe that's why we have such a demand for them.

Andy
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airline View Post
I would reconsider Les Schwab for install.

You will have untrained children trying to learn how to install axles on your Baby....

Find a good airstream dealer or trailer shop.


I don't find that to be true at all. My local Les Schwab has very skilled and highly experienced folks who work there. I trust them implicitly. The results may differ with other shops.....

Bye the way, Andy gave me 12 inch brakes.... Going to be a lot of "whoa" for a 23D!
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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Andy- so the Dexter axles can be ordered with studs for the shocks already installed? Are they the only brand where this is an option?


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Old 10-09-2014, 10:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theOrca View Post
New axles, shocks and Centromatics are now on order from Andy. My local Les Schaub store has agreed to do the install.

Life is better when retailers simplify things for you!

Bill
What I like about Les Schaub is the enthusiasm of the people that work there. They run out of the garage to meet you, literally. Never had one problem with them but granted they've only done my tire and brakes. If they say they can do the install, let them try and take pictures of the before so you can compare if they mess it up. Somebody has to do it if you don't.
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:41 AM   #12
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Andy- so the Dexter axles can be ordered with studs for the shocks already installed? Are they the only brand where this is an option?


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Unfortunately, no.

We have the brackets and studs made. When we ship axles from Corona, the brackets with studs are already welded in place.

When the axles are drop shipped, we send the brackets with studs to the buyer, at no charge.

Why Dexter refuses, is a mystery, that I can only explain buy saying that their old timer thoughts are out dated.

They certainly install those brackets on "every" axle that Airstream buys from them.

But, their old timers have bent a little by permitting us to order lower ratings with 12 inch brakes, that they will not do on an individual basis.

By tests, welding the bracket in place, raises the axle shaft temperature 16 degrees, certainly not enough to cause "any" problem.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:32 AM   #13
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Thanks Andy. In terms of access, is it difficult to have the shock studs welded on AFTER the axle has been installed? It seems there would be adequate room to work, but not being a welder I'm not sure...


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Old 10-10-2014, 10:01 AM   #14
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Thanks Andy. In terms of access, is it difficult to have the shock studs welded on AFTER the axle has been installed? It seems there would be adequate room to work, but not being a welder I'm not sure...


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Not really, but, you must remove the backing plate in order to reach the back side of the stud.

Andy
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